May 23, 2024  
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog 
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Department of Writing and Rhetoric

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(248) 370-2746
Fax: (248) 370-2748

Department Website


Chairperson: Lori Ostergaard

Professors emeriti: Barbara Hamilton, Alice S. Horning, Margaret Pigott, Ronald A. Sudol

Associate professors: Elizabeth G. Allan, Wallis May Andersen, Greg Giberson, Marshall W. Kitchens, Jim Nugent, Lori Ostergaard

Assistant professors: Felicia Chong, Jill Chrobak, David Hammontree, Megan Schoen, Crystal VanKooten, Josephine Walwema

Special instructors: Bernadette Dickerson, Kasia G. Kietlinska

Special lecturers: Glen Armstrong, Gania Barlow, Benjamin Bennett-Carpenter, Allison Bohn, Marilyn Borner, Karen Brehmer, Timothy Briggs, Matthew Burkett, Jennifer Coon, Charin Davenport, LaWanda Dickens, Colleen Doyle, Matthew Ferguson, Emily Francis, Emily Freeman, John Freeman, Laura Gabrion,  Charlie Gragg, Tara Hendin, Lisa Hine, Catherine Jostock, Jenna Katz, Laura Klein, Amanda Laudig, Kathleen Lawson, Cindy Mooty, Donatella Perfetto, Cornelia Pokrzywa, Leba Rautbort, Lauren Rinke, Rebecca Rivard, Cathy Rorai, William Rouster, Sheryl Ruszkiewicz, Kathy Skomski, Craig Smith, Melissa St. Pierre, Jessica Tess-Navarro, Pamela Todoroff, Michaele Tomrell, Jason Torrente, Carol Trupiano

Lecturers:  Laura Colbeck, Christina Hall, Shaun Moore, Sherry Wynn Perdue

Chief adviser: Jim Nugent

Students of writing and rhetoric gain direct, practical experience with writing for a variety of audiences, purposes, contexts, and media. The department offers a minor and a major with three specializations: professional writing, writing for digital media, and writing studies. The professional writing track prepares students for careers in professional and technical writing, editing, and publishing. The writing for digital media track prepares students for careers in the fast-growing worlds of social media, online content development, web design, and digital media production. The writing studies track prepares students for graduate study in rhetoric and composition and for careers as writing teachers or tutors in higher education.

The department’s first-year writing program helps students to develop fundamental skills in producing and understanding written texts, to gain fluency in writing for a variety of audiences and situations, and to become critical readers and skilled writers of print, digital and visual texts. In addition to sponsoring the annual Writing Excellence Awards, the department supports a larger culture of writing through its connections to the Oakland University Writing Center and the Meadow Brook Writing Project.

Writing Foundations

Most students satisfy the university general education requirement in the writing foundations area by completing WRT 1060  with a grade of 2.0 or higher. Please consult the Writing Requirements section in the general education area of the catalog for alternate ways of fulfilling this requirement.


The ACT English (or SAT equivalent) score is the main mechanism used to place students in the writing foundations course (WRT 1060 ), and in any courses that students might need as a prerequisite to WRT 1060  as follows:

SAT Writing or Evidence-based Reading and Writing score of 620-800 (or ACT equivalent) or higher place students in WRT 1060  Composition II.
SAT Writing or Evidence-based Reading and Writing score of 410-610 (or ACT equivalent) place students in WRT 1050  Composition I.
SAT Writing or Evidence-based Reading and Writing score of 200-400  (or ACT equivalent) or below place students in WRT 1020  Basic Writing.

Placement by SAT (or ACT equivalent)  score does not yield any course credit regardless of where students are placed.

Students with questions about placement in first year writing should consult the Department of Writing and Rhetoric, 378 O’Dowd Hall, 248-370-2746, prior to the beginning of the semester in which they plan to enroll in first year writing. Students are responsible for knowing registration deadlines and understanding the implications of schedule changes for their financial aid.

Departmental Honors

Writing and Rhetoric majors with a combined GPA of 3.6 in courses taken within the major will qualify for departmental honors.

Schedule of classes

Specific offerings for each semester may be found in the Schedule of Classes.



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